GM and SAIC to develop new petrol engines

General Motors (GM) is to build on its existing partnership with Chinese automaker SAIC Motor to co-develop a new small-displacement petrol engine family and an advanced transmission.

The new engine, which will be offered in displacements from 1.0 litre to 1.5 litres, combines direct injection and turbocharging, and will be used by GM and SAIC Motor in China and future vehicles worldwide.

Development of the new engine will be carried out jointly by GM and SAIC engineers in Detroit and at the Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center (PATAC), the automakers’ engineering and design joint venture in Shanghai.

The companies say that the new front-wheel-drive transmission, which will feature dry, dual-clutch technology, will provide at least a 10 per cent improvement in fuel economy over today’s conventional six-speed automatic transmissions.

China is now GM’s largest national market, followed by the US, Brazil, Germany, the UK, Canada and Italy.

In separate news, GM looks set for a $20bn (£13bn) flotation 14 months after the auto giant filed for bankruptcy.